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Fanatec CSR racing combo (photos)

We compare the new Fanatec CSR racing wheel, pedals, and shifter to the older Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo combo.

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Antuan Goodwin

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1 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec CSR wheel

The new Fanatec CSR wheel features an aluminum face, but the rim is mostly plastic.
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2 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec CSR wheel

Forza Motorsport iconography marks this wheel's compatibility with the Xbox 360 game, but this wheel can also be used with PCs, Macs, and the Playstation 3.
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3 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec CSR wheel

The unit's strong force feedback motors are housed in the glossy black body.
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4 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo wheel

The older Porsche 911 Turbo wheel featured inferior buttons, but I liked that the entire wheel was wrapped in a soft faux-leather.
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5 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec CSR wheel

The CSR wheel's buttons are laid out intuitively and fall nicely under the thumb.
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6 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo wheel

The older wheel's buttons are plasticky and are forced into odd positions by the Porsche wheel's design.
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Fanatec CSR wheel

Both wheels feature LED displays where wheel performance parameters can be adjusted on-the-fly.
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Fanatec CSR wheel

The wheel connects wirelessly to the Xbox 360 console in the same manner as any other controller.
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Fanatec CSR wheel

Beefy aluminum paddle shifters feel like they could take a beating.
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Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo wheel

The older wheel's paddles are just small metal tabs and don't travel very far when pressed.
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Fanatec CSR shifters

The CSR shifter set ships with both an H-pattern (left) and a sequential (right) shifter.
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Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo shifter

The old H-pattern shifter was my least favorite part of the combo. The new units don't improve tremendously.
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Fanatec CSR shifter

Users attach the shifters to the body of the wheel on this two-rail mounting system. When shifting quickly, this whole assembly can rotate quite a bit, contributing to the inaccuracy of the shifter.
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14 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo pedals

If I had to upgrade any one component of my old system, it would be the pedal set.
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15 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec CSR Elite pedals

The CSR Elite pedals were a treat to use and represent the single biggest jump in quality over my old pedals.
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16 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo pedals

The old pedal set looks like a toy when compared to the Elite.
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17 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fanatec CSR Elite pedals

The heavy CSR Elite pedal set stood its ground even when pressed with my full strength. I also liked that each pedal could be adjusted and repositioned with simple hand tools.

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